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Winner of the Genie Award

for Best Documentary Film


Selected for the

Toronto International

Film Festival


Short Listed for an

Academy Award©

May 9, 1992. The Westray mine in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, explodes, instantly killing all 26 men working underground. Mining coal in Pictou County is notoriously dangerous. It claimed the lives of 650 men in the last 100 years, the same number that died fighting in both world wars. But Westray was supposed to be different: a high-tech operation that would finally make coal mining safe.


Westray is a brilliant, innovative documentary that re-creates some of the Westray disaster's most harrowing moments. It focuses on the lives of three widows and three miners lucky enough not to be underground that day when the methane and coal dust ignited. But their lives were torn apart by the events.


This film reaches beyond Westray. It's also about working people everywhere--whose lives are often entrusted to companies that violate the most fundamental rules of safety and decency in the name of profit.


Directed and Written by: Paul Cowan

Producer: Kent Martin

Editor: Hannele Halm

Cinematography: Paul Cowan

Location Manager: Connie Littlefield, Patsy Coughran

Narration: Michael Jones, Katie Malloch

Music: Robert M. Lepage, Men of the Deeps, Jerry Granelli

Sound: Jane Porter, Alex Salter

Unit Administrator: John Lutz

Executive Producer: Sally Bochner


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